Thu 20 Feb 2020

Review… Lauran Hibberd Takes Over Deaf Institute, Manchester


Photo by Ami Ford, courtesy of Lauran Hibberd on Twitter.

Words by: Heather McAleavy

It was a dull rainy day outside Manchester’s Deaf Institute, but that didn’t stop fans of Isle of Wight singer Lauran Hibberd waiting outside in the cold for up to ten hours waiting for doors to her show to open. This intense level of dedication was thankfully met with a high energy performance and biscuits from her rider which made their wait worthwhile.

Before Hibberd made her grand entrance, local singer-songwriter Abbie Ozard warmed up the crowd with her glittery indie-pop tunes. Before she’d even stepped foot on the high stage, it was obvious she’d also brought in her own crowd as fans showed off their t-shirts and continued to shout their endearment between songs. Her soft voice contrasted well with the rockier edge her songs carry but didn’t fall flat in comparison. Floating between dreamy tunes such as ‘Heartbreak Radio’ from her debut EP Growing Pains and new tracks ‘Pink Sky’ and ‘Crocodile Tears’, she and her band were truly captivating.

As soon as she walked on stage, Hibberd addressed the crowd: “Who else has no money? Well, I have a solution!” before jumping straight into sassy hit ‘Sugardaddy’. The audience was onboard from the very first note, bouncing off her theatrical and bubbly attitude and stage presence. She went through her more classic songs taken from her EP Everything Is Dogs, released in September, and earlier tracks like ‘Hunny Is This What Adults Do?’, all met with singalongs and some even mosh pits. She blatantly showed how surprised she was to get such a rowdy reaction and joked with the audience “I never would expect that at a Lauran Hibberd show”.

Fans were also treated with two brand new songs slipped into the setlist: ‘We Could Be Married But I Don’t Have A Gun’ and ‘Old News’. Both seamlessly fitted her signature sickly sweet rock sound and the crowd listed avidly, looking so pleased to be part of this almost exclusive listening party.

The main take-away from the show was Lauran Hibberd’s attitude and how much it resonated with her fans. Coming across so cool and confident, the audience found her approachable enough to shout jokes and actually have conversations with her in between songs. With Deaf Institute’s capacity standing at 260, it was an exclusive set but was made to feel even more so as they interacted so easily. The cherry on the top of this relationship between artist and fans was when a rogue phone was passed up onto the stage before the encore song ‘Shark Week’ began. Hibberd took selfies and pictures of the crowd and her band on it before asking whose it was and watched as the crowd passed it above their heads to its rightful owner. Events like these are rare the more popular a musician gets, but with Lauran Hibberd, you can tell this is in her nature and no matter what stage she’s playing, her connection with her fans will make any show feel as intimate and exclusive as this.

Catch Lauran back up north for Neighbourhood Weekender this May!

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